St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Friday, March 6, 2015

My Lenten Journey: The Desert Calls

I walk alone. There is no one else.  Prayer is difficult, al don’t see most impossible, because I feel nothing.  I seem to be saying words, and, like in most deserts, in order to survive such a harsh environment, I must grab nourishment and water when and where I can.  I must  keep walking forward, even though, I have no goal except to survive.  I don’t know where I’m going.  I want to control this harsh environment and change it.  I want it to welcome me, and be hospitable, even though I am an alien here.  I feel as though I will die here.

My eyes are open, and I see vast hills and mountains of sand.  My feet burn as I walk.  The sand burns my flesh.  If footprints are left by my feet, the winds drape the sand and cover them with more sand.  There is no trace that I have been there.  Where am I going?  I don’t know.  I have lost all sense of direction.  In the distance, I see dust devils form and implode.  Sometimes, they cover me before they implode.  My eyes are scratched by the sand that is forced in them.  I cannot see as I walk.  There is no liquid left in my eyes to blink away the sand with my tears.  There are no tears left.  My tongue is covered with dust.  I have difficulty swallowing.  I ingest only sand.  The liquids in my mouth are absorbed by the sand.

I rub my eyes and the grains of sand scratch them.  I look for signs of water or food.  Limited visibility.  I see nothing but sand.

I walk forward, or is it backward?  I have no sense of direction.  I’m lost without nourishment or water.  I fear I may die.

My flesh, though covered with clothing, is pitted by sand.  The sting is brutal and gains force as I move.  I’ve come to a place where lizards, who thrive in the desert, have abandoned.  The sand storm continues as I move.  The wind pelts me with sand, and my ears are full.  This dulls the sound of the screeching air forcibly hitting my body.  Nothing is sacred here. I feel pain.  I feel abandoned.  I feel leeched.  My bones ache.  The dryness pulls the moisture from my bones.  I fall into the hot sand.  There is no reprieve now.

The sand storm has passed.  Life in the desert is better now.  I see cacti.  I see animals scatter across the sands.  Snakes, lizards all searching for food.  They rest in the sun absorbing it’s heat.  I look for a place with trees.  Even the cacti are not big enough to hide the sun and give me relief. 

I am lost.  I don’t know where I’m going.  I touch a cactus, not thinking, and a thorn pierces my flesh.  The pain is beyond my strength to endure.  I scream and cry out for help.  No one hears me.  No one sees me.  I have been forgotten.  The snakes and lizards will eat me when I die.  I walk on.

My ears are full of sand, but I hear, far off in the distance, “Kyrie Eleison. Christe Eleison. Kyrie Eleison.”

I spit the sand from my mouth.  “Lord, Have Mercy.”  “Christ, Have Mercy.”  “Lord, Have Mercy.”
“Lord, Have Mercy.  Christ, Have Mercy.  Lord, Have Mercy!”

A drop of rain falls.  The heat of the sand dries the rain as soon as it is on the ground. 

“Lord, Have Mercy!”  I cry.  Another drop falls, then another.  “Christ, Have Mercy!  Lord, Have Mercy!”

A down pour of rain envelopes me.  My tongue is no longer caked with sand.  My ears are drained, no longer plugged.  My eyes are washed.  I see the desert.  I am washed clean.  A salve has been poured on my gaping wounds.  I rest.  I sleep.   The walk is bearable again.  I slumber whispering, “Lord, Have Mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Lord, Have Mercy.”

I wake to find a lizard, on my chest, watching me, full of curiosity as to what or who I am.  He climbs on to my hand.  If I close my hand and strike the rock, I will have food, but his eyes are gentle and kind.  This is not my food.  My food is yet to come.  I release my hold on this creature, and he scampers off to live the life he was ordained to live.

The sun heats up the landscape.  Now, I am refreshed, and I begin to walk.  I have no idea where I am going.  I cannot control this desert.  I am not capable.  The walk is long and hard.  I know I must walk.  I begin to say words that are prayers.  They are just words.  I walk.  Each step is a challenge.  I am dry.  Strength comes from adversity. 

“Lord, have mercy!  Christ, have mercy!  Lord, have mercy!”
“Lord, have mercy!  Christ, have mercy!  Lord, have mercy.”

My journey is not over.  The desert offers no choice.  I walk.  I wait. 

“Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.   Lord, have mercy.”

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